D.C. Group Launches Website for 2024 Olympics Bid

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Tom Sherwood reports on a new website designed to build widespread support to bring the 2024 Summer Olympics to the Washington, D.C. region. (Published Thursday, Sep 4, 2014)

    The effort to bring the 2024 Olympics to the Washington, D.C. region took another big step Thursday.

    Local nonprofit DC 2024  launched its public website around 8 a.m. The site is one of the first public efforts to build widespread support for the Olympics bid.

    "Today's announcement that a leadership team has been formed for Washington 2024 means that our region's bid to host the Olympic and Paralympic games has kicked into full gear," said Arlington County Board Chair Jay Fisette. "...We agree with Washington 2024 that this is an historic opportunity for our region to be part of the Olympic Movement."

    Fisette said that although the county suspended construction plans for phase 2 of a park that would include an aquatics and fitness facility, county officials expect the park to be part of the plan for bringing the Olympics to the area.

    "That is still our hope," Fisette said. "We believe that Long Bridge could be a great venue for Olympic swimming events."

    Washington, D.C. is among four finalists for a possible United States bid to host the 2024 Summer Olympics.

    Back in June, the U.S Olympic Committee officially announced Washington, Boston, Los Angeles and San Francisco as potential hosts. Los Angeles is the only city of the four that has previously hosted, having done so in 1932 and 1984.

    DC 2024 believes the District, Maryland and Virginia are more than equipped to handle the event. A section on its website titled "Why Washington" says the region has 129,000 hotel rooms, more than 136 million square feet of retail space and the most walkable city in the U.S.

    "We are at the crossroads of the world -- home to international institutions, established destinations, transportation hubs, and world-class accommodations," the site says.

    The group says hosting the Olympics would cost the region $4 billion to $6 billion. But they claim with proper planning, the economic impact could be greater than the cost.

    DC 2024 has also suggested using existing stadiums in the region, and building out the region's existing transportation and housing options.

    The group is headed by entrepreneur Russ Ramsey, with Washington Capitals and Wizards owner Ted Leonsis as vice-chairman.

    On Thursday, they announced their new board of directors, which includes former D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams, restaurateur José Andrés, and Sheila Johnson, cofounder of BET Network.

    Shortly after the website's launch, Arlington County released a statement expressing support for the Olympics bid.

    This isn't the first time Washington's thrown its hat into an Olympic ring. A joint effort by D.C. and Baltimore to host the 2012 Olympics failed in 2002. New York ultimately won the chance to be the United States' candidate, but London's bid was selected.

    The Olympics last came to the United States in 2002, when Salt Lake City hosted the Winter Games. Atlanta was most recent U.S. city to host the Summer Games, in 1996.